Roasted rhubarb with vanilla filled filo pastry
Roasted rhubarb with vanilla filled filo pastry is actually three recipes packed into a single one.
-The best vanilla pudding
-Crunchy filo pastry cups
Please don’t be scared by the super long ingredients list. Every single part is short and easy and really worth your time, plus the final result is a particularly delightful sight.
It’s best to prepare each of the components ahead of time.
Start with the crunchy filo cups, as you can even store these for several days in the fridge. For filo pastry leftovers: bake a second load of cups without the sugar and fill them with salad, minced meat, mushrooms or whatever comes to mind.
Use the preheated oven from baking the filo cups to roast the rhubarb. The roasting let’s the rhubarb caramelize, it will be sweet but also extremely aromatic, tangy and juicy, it’s just great!!! I got a real big bunch (about 3 kg!!) this time and I’m going to roast all of it. 2 kg for roasted rhubarb jam and the last kilo for this dessert. Let me know if you’re interested in the rhubarb jam recipe!
Go on with the pudding – mind the time it takes to cool it down. If the pudding comes straight from the fridge you’ll have to mix it up with an egg whisk to loosen it for the assembly. Using cream and butter makes this pudding sooo much smoother… use 500 ml of milk and leave the butter if you’re on a diet.
At last some words about rhubarb:
The earliest records of rhubarb date back to 2700 B.C. and point to China, where it was mainly used for medicinal purposes. The word rhubarb comes from the Greek words rha barbaron, in which rah is the word for the Russian stream Volga where the plant was domestic, and barbaron is the word for foreign.
The rhubarbs husk and leaves contain a high amount of oxalic acid, which is toxic, so rhubarb should not be eaten raw. The greener the more acid, but, you don’t have to worry about this, as cooking neutralizes the acid!
Another lead on how to pick the perfect rhubarb is the thickness of the stems aka the age of the stems. Honestly, I always peeled my rhubarb until I started to dive deeper into this matter. You can say, the thicker the older and the thicker the easier to peel. On the other hand, the young stems don’t have to be peeled at all!! So you should try to pick the thin red stems – less work, more color and nutritional value! The cooking time, the amount of sugar and even the amount of water that will leek from the rhubarb while it cooks, all depends on the kind of rhubarb you choose.
- 1 kg rhubarb, trimmed and peeled
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 180 g sugar
- 50 g unsalted butter, flaked
- Pinch of salt
- 400 ml whole milk
- 100 ml whipping cream
- 4 tsp unsalted butter
- 2 large egg yolks from free range eggs
- 2 heaped tbsp sugar (50 g)
- 5 tsp corn starch (50 g)
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped or 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Pinch of sea salt
- 100 g sugar
- 50 g water
- Zest of one organic orange
- 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 4 sheets of filo pastry
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 30 g sugar
- Icing sugar for dusting
Start with the filo cups.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F. Lightly brush a 12-cup muffin pan (LINK) with butter. Place 1 sheet of filo dough on a cutting board, lightly brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place the next sheet on top and repeat the process of brushing and sprinkling. Proceed in the same way with the rest of the filo sheets (including the last sheet/top layer). Cut 8 even squares from the dough (about 15 cm/6 inch depending on the size of your muffin pan). Carefully lay the square stacks over the molds of the muffin pan, one after the other and gently press the dough with your fingers into the molds to form a cup. Bake for about 7-10 min. until crisp and golden-brown. Remove from the oven to cool down before removing the cups from the pan.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, set aside. Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of the cold milk and stir until smooth. In a saucepan bring the rest of the milk and cream to a simmer together with the starch mixture, sugar, a pinch of salt, scraped vanilla seeds and the empty pod. Remove from heat and SLOWLY pour 1/4 of the hot milk-mix into the bowl with the egg yolks, continuously whisking to prevent it from clotting. Pour the egg-mixture into the saucepan to combine with the rest of the hot milk and cream mix, whisk and cook until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, cover with cling film and let it cool down in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F. Trim and peel the rhubarb if necessary (see note above), cut at an angle to 3 cm/1 inch pieces. Place the rhubarb in a high-rimmed baking tray and add the sugar, a pinch of salt and scraped vanilla seeds. Stir to combine all ingredients and evenly distribute the flaked butter on top. Bake for about 1 hour. Check the rhubarb frequently, if it gets to dark, cover with tin foil. Remove the tin foil (if used) and turn the top grill on for about 5 min until lightly caramelized on top. Remove from the oven to cool down.
Heat the water, sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tbsp of Cointreau or other orange liqueur. Let the syrup cool down. Take out the orange zest, drain, transfer to a cutting board and let it dry for a couple of minutes. Cut into thin strips, set aside until needed.
Spread some rhubarb on a dessert plate and set 1 filo cup on top. Mix up the pudding with an egg whisk and fill the cup with about 2 -3 tbsp pudding. Drizzle with a little orange syrup and decorate with some of the orange zest. Dust with icing sugar.